Greedy, more about chemistry

Hi all

Last Thursday Hendrik and I had some troubles in getting the reaction going. The engine was sort of stuttering instead of a steady and assuring humming. But we did score fair above average, even on slow chemistry.

North
9xxxx
AK9x
Kxxx

I like these kinds of hands. They offer a lot of potential if you have and can find a fit. Hendrik sitting second hand opens a Muiderberg 2 (showing a weak hand with five and 4+ in a minor). West overcalls 3. Now I had visions of a (less than) 20 hcp slam.

West
North
East
South
 
 
pass
21
3
42
double
…43
5
6
a.p.
 

1. Muiderberg
2. Splinter with fit (but not really agreed)
3. 2nd suit or cue, no agreements

So 4 is a free bid, after double there’s no bidding obligation anymore. That’s why I made the very aggressive jump to slam, I pictured Hendrik having the (near impossible) perfect hand.

North
9xxxx
AK9x
Kxxx

South
AQJTx
Qx
Txxx
xx

So Hendrik had to play 6. That’s kinda high. But first news is good news, East starts with the Ace and continues the suit. Now you just have to find the King and exactly JTx with any opponent to get rid of all your losing .

Another possibility is to squeeze East out of his red suits after ruffing two in dummy, as Martin pointed out (April 16th, 2007).

East Dealer
EW Vul
North
9xxxx
AK9x
Kxxx
West
Kx
xx
Ax
AQJxxxx
East
8
JTxxx
QJx
Kxxx
South
AQJTx
Qx
Txxx
xx

Too much, I’m glad it was just pairs.

Lucky chemistry

Hi all

Peter-Paul and Anne got married last Friday. It was such a nice wedding and what a party they threw! I’ll write a bigger report on it, but not until I get my hands on a nice picture (or a couple) of the newlyweds.

Back to the important stuff. Bridge. Here’s some chemistry from Hendrik and me last Thursday, we bid like this:

West
North
East
South
 
 
 
11
pass
1
pass
12
pass
23
pass
34
pass
35
pass
46
pass
46
pass
57
pass
68
a.p.
 

1. Either a strong NT or unbalanced 4+
2. Unbalanced
3. 4th suit forcing
4. Showing a 4-0-4-5
5. Setting trumps
6. Cue
7. Extras, with bad trumps I would have signed off
8. Alrighty then

West leads the Jack of .

North
QJ7x
AKJxxx
Axx

South
A8xx
xxxx
AKQxx

Where to start? A crossruff looks like a solid plan, but the trumps together are not that good. If you go for another (trumpdrawing?) plan, there are losers and communication problems all over. And there’s an external factor to cope with, I have to maintain the current chemistry with Hendrik. Disappointing him by screwing up a delicate slam will certainly stifle our chemistry.

So I took the lead with the Ace. Cashed the Ace and King of (discarding a and a ), ruffed a , Ace and King of (dumping those dirty ) and ruffed a .

North
QJ7
Jxx

South
A8x
x
Qx

Still having no clue what to do I ruffed a 4th round of (East discarding a , West coming up with the Queen). Next I tried to cash my Queen but East ruffed and played back a high , West ruffing with the Ten in front of dummy (overruffed).

North
Q7
Jx

South
A8x
x

I took my last chance, playing West for T9 bare in trumps I asked for the Queen in dummy. It holds and West shows his 9 with some remorse. The rest is easy, I play high from dummy until East comes up with the King of trumps. Claim 12.

South Dealer
EW Vul
North
QJ7x
AKJxxx
Axx
West
T9
QTxx
Jx
Jxxxx
East
K6x
xxx
KQTx
xxx
South
A8xx
xxxx
AKQxx

So the trump position is very favourable and other suits break good too, shortness in front of shortness. But I still don’t know what’s the best plan, or how good this slam is. I guess Lady Luck smiled a little seeing the chemistry between Hendrik and me (+40 imp).

Skyhigh, EGBC part 4

Hi all

Another one from Groningen.

South
9xx
KQ9xxx
xxx
x

Sitting in 4th position I’m wondering if it’s right to introduce this anemic hand. The main suit is fair in quality, but overall it lacks a little "oomph".

LHO opens 1, Hoek jumps to 6 and RHO… jumps… too… 7 it is.
I’m stunned.
Stunned.

West Dealer
EW Vul
North
x
xx
AKQTxxxxxx
West
AKTxx
Jxxx
Kx
Jx
East
QJ8x
ATx
AQxxxx
South
9xx
KQ9xxx
xxx
x

Declarer ruffed the lead and collected 13 tricks without any problems. I’m afraid our teammates are not greedy enough to try for the grand after very heavy interference. After declarer had claimed his tricks, Hoek immediately asked what would have happened had he followed 1NT. I think it depends on how beat and/or weak the opponents are. I like the jump to 6 better, it raises so much pressure.

Our teammates are walking towards us. I start with "Did you bid 7..", but Dennis interrupts me: "No, but we win some imps on that particular deal."
No comprendo, senor!
They got doubled in 6, the redouble eventually netted us 6 imp.

Our winning streak ended here. In the last round we oppose "Mr & Mrs Smith", unfortunately without Angelina Jolie. Hoek and I try, but there’s just no juice left anymore. We lose 13-17 against number 1 and eventually rank 4th. I’m happy, we had a terrible start on Saturday. The metamorphosis on Sunday left me and others speechless, all in ease we played, defended and collected.

Unaware, EGBC part 3

Hi all

We are on a rampage. I have no other word for it. And when points are flowing towards you like crazy, you have the energy and patience to look a little bit deeper into a game like this:

North
JT
AT83
AQ9
AT62

South
9643
QJ95
K5
K85

South (me) gets to play 4. West starts with the  9. Take a deep breath. What can go wrong? You have five minor suit tricks so another five have to come from trumps (or an unlikely one from ). So draw trumps then?

I didn’t touch trumps, I just played on and ruffed two high in my hand (I discarded a on the 3rd ). Finally I score four trumps in dummy and one in my hand, because West overruffed once. A solid ten tricks.

North Dealer
All Vul
North
JT
AT83
AQ9
AT62
West
K7
K764
J7432
93
East
AQ852
2
T86
QJ74
South
9643
QJ95
K5
K85

At the other table declarer tried to clear trumps, but when they broke 4-1 he had too much to do and was set one trick. Nine times out of ten he would have gotten away with it, but this was the tenth time. I noticed the 4-1 split during the post mortem. During my play I wasn’t aware of any bad breaks. But that may also be a bad thing.

Freaks Like Freaks, EGBC part 2

Hi all

Yesterday I showed you a solid 9 card suit. Today I get freaky, we shuffled the cards so well in Groningen. Our team is still on a high, having gained more than 70 VIP in three matches. I pick up these cards:

South
A
KQT963
AKT954

Boy! This has got to be one of the prettiest holdings I ever laid my hands on, a strong red 6-6, less than 3 losers. East brutally disrupts my dream with a 2 opening, showing a weak hand with both majors or some strong hand. When Hoek showed some values I blasted to slam: 6. West leads the King of .

North
JT74
A
62
A98642

South
A
KQT963
AKT954

Plan the play. You have to ruff a in dummy, so the suit has to split 2-4. And the trumps have to come in clean.

I take the lead with the Ace (discarding a ), cash the Ace, to the Ace, and for symmetry’s sake also the Ace. Ruff a , back to hand with a ruff and the King. West shows out. West? Yes! West. East had opened a “weak with both majors” on a 4-4-4-1. I lose 2 tricks in trumps, down 1.

East Dealer
– Vul
North
JT74
A
62
A98642
West
8632
74
8
KQJT53
East
KQ95
J852
QJ73
7
South
A
KQT963
AKT954

I confess, I completely didn’t think of the possibility East having 4 trumps. But it’s easy to cope with, don’t cash trump Ace! Just ruff a in dummy and then play the other trump from dummy to your Ten. You win with every 3-2 split in trumps, 4-1 with East having a bare honor, and QJ-4th with East.

Luckily the other table had a blind spot too, for a wash.

The medal has two sides, EGBC part 1

Hi all

Last Saturday and Sunday I played with Hoek, Dennis and Martijn “Termiet” (Groningen guy) the EGBC teams tournament in Groningen. It was the first big tournament for Hoek and me, I can confess I was a bit anxious.

I dare not tell you about Saturday. It was a dark, dark day. Everything Hoek and I did went wrong. Somebody must have put a spell on us, I don’t know. My team tried to drown the jinx in legendary amounts of beer, but I went to bed fairly early for I was totally drained. Sunday, hesitant and a little hangover-ish we took the cards from our first board.

South
AKQJT7642
5
KT5

Whoa! I pick up a solid 9 card suit . What to do? I hate to open these kinds of hands with some forcing bid and a timid 1 leaves to much room for the opponents. So I started with 5, it’s definitely preemptive and partner has a general idea how big my playing strength is.The opponents are silent and Hoek raises me to 6.

Gold.

South Dealer
EW Vul
North
98
95
KQ93
A9763
West
J543
83
AJ72
J82
East
AKQT762
T864
Q4
South
AKQJT7642
5
KT5

A fine raise by Hoek, because of my unusual call he estimated (hoped for) a void in my hand and valued the rest of his hand enough for slam. At the other table South opened a Namyats 4, but the 4-level wasn’t high enough to shut out East. Eventually Dennis and Martijn bought the contract in 5 undoubled (?).

We shook off the dirt and gloominess from the day before and jumped on the roller coaster of succes.

Into the Trees, Star Wars part 3

Hi all

I’m back, baby! Here’s the 3rd and final part from Star Wars. Hendrik and I were performing on our zenith of powers.

South
8
KQ654
KQ8752
T

First hand I was holding this red twosuiter. With Hendrik I agreed weak jump reverses, so this hand fits nicely.

West
North
East
South
 
 
 
1
pass
1
4
5
5
a.p.
 
 

Not afraid of the vulnerability or lack of Aces I competed to the 5-level. Hendrik showed faith by not doubling 5. He expected big distribution instead of solid amounts of points in my hand.

South Dealer
NS Vul
North
3
JT832
J6
A9842
West
9754
7
T93
KQ763
East
AKQJT62
A9
A4
J5
South
8
KQ654
KQ8752
T

I got a ruff, which was worth 1 whole imp. As you can see, there are a lot of tricks to take for both sides.

That’s all, we’re done fondling Leia. Cheers!

Insurance, Star Wars part 2

Hi all

Another one from last Saturday. With drawn lightsabers and a merciless grin we sit down against Jabba and another loathsome creature.

South
KQ87643
J8
2
J43

Your RHO opens 2, either some strong hand or weak with . You didn’t agree preempt over preempt so pass. LHO waits with 2 and Hendrik mentions his on the 3 level. Now RHO bids 3, a strong red twosuiter. I like that, opponents who have solid agreements, even after intervention.

West
North
East
South
 
 
21
pass
22
3
33
4
5
5
double
pass
6
6
double
a.p.

1. Weak with or some strong hand
2. Waiting bid
3. Strong twosuiter, and

East Dealer
– Vul
North
JT92
KJ8
AKQ952
West
T97643
QT76
T86
East
A5
AKQ52
A9543
7
South
KQ87643
J8
2
J43

Hendrik did very good to take his 100 point insurance against 6 red. If East holds the Queen of , slam makes on a double finesse.

Points are divided 20-20, but both sides can make a 5 level contract. I’m not a big fan of Larry Cohen, but he’s right here, 22 trumps together, double fits, so there are a lot of tricks to take.

Pink and Green, Star Wars part 1

Hi all

Last Saturday I played with Hendrik in a teams tournament. Bridgeclub Star celebrated its 65th birthday and organized a large teams event: “Star Wars”. Dust off those lightsabers, refresh your jedi skills and rekindle your love for Leia.

Hendrik wore a stylish ultrapink shirt that combined so well with my blinding green pants that some opponents called the tournament director. You gotta hurt them where you can.

North
97
3
AQT865
A965

South
AJ2
965
K94
QJT7

I opened the South hand with 1NT, (11)12-14. West preempted with 3 and now Hendrik had a problem. Praying for some fit and a stopper he bid 3NT. West started with the King. Now what?

I could have tried a Bath coup, but I figured West would find the killing switch to . So I took it and put the Queen on the table. West plays small smoothly. Cash out for down 1 or risk a losing finesse?

I was so blinded by the possibility of 9 tricks that I took the finesse. It lost. The opponents granted me 1 more trick in the end for down 7.

South Dealer
– Vul
North
97
3
AQT865
A965
West
KQT863
AKT
J2
82
East
54
QJ8742
73
K43
South
AJ2
965
K94
QJT7

What I should have done is ask. Ask myself what our teammates would do. Some partscore in a major probably. So cashing out will gain a few imp, while taking the finesse risks a lot. Grabbing 8 tricks would have gained 3 imp, for our teammates did score +140.

Points Schmoints

Hi all

I have a lot of nice deals, keep in touch this week. Here’s one from Friday where I played with Dennis.

South
J9863
K8532
7
QT

Your RHO opens a 15-17 NT. All vulnerable I didn’t dare to enter the bidding with this garbage. LHO passes too, but Dennis doubled, showing and another suit (Lionel). RHO bids 2 and now I had something to think about. My lack of points was more than compensated by my distribution and major fit, so I jumped to 3, invitational. Dennis raised me to game.

East Dealer
All Vul
North
KT52
6
A64
AJ972
West
Q4
QJ94
T952
543
East
A7
AT7
KQJ83
K86
South
J9863
K8532
7
QT

There was nothing to the play, the Queen was where I wanted her to be. So, what about this law of not bidding game when the opponents open a strong NT? Here there are ten cold tricks with just 18 hcp together.

We finished first smoothly: +53 imp.